« PreviousContinue »
of God's revealing his will unto his people being now ceased f.
II. Under the name of Holy Scripture, or the Word of God written, are now contained all the Books of the Old and New Testament, which are these:
Of the NEW TESTAMENT.
The Gospels accor-, Corinthians II.
The Epistle to the
The Epistle of
The first and second
The first, second,
The Epistle of Jude.
All which are given by inspiration of God, to be the rule of
III. The Books commonly called Apocrypha, not being of Divine inspiration, are no part of the canon of the scripture; and therefore are of no authority in the Church of God, nor to be any otherwise approved, or made use of, than other human writings h.
IV. The authority of the Holy Scripture, for which it ought to be believed and obeyed, dependeth not upon the testimony of any man or Church, but wholly upon God, (who is truth itself,) the author thereof; and therefore it is to be received, because it is the word of God i.
V. We may be moved and induced by the testimony of the Church to an high and reverend esteem of the holy scripture, and the heavenliness of the matter, the efficacy
unto him, They have Moses and the prophets, let them hear them. Ver. 31. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rose from the dead. Eph. ii. 20. And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner-stone. Rev. xxii. 18. For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book. Ver. 19. And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. 2 Tim. iii. 16. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. III. b Luke xxiv. 27. And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scrip. tures the things concerning himself. Ver. 44. And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the law of Moses, and in the Prophets, and in the Psalms, concerning me. Rom. iii. 2. Much every way chiefly because that unto
them were committed the oracles of God. 2 Pet. i. 21. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man; but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
IV. 2 Pet. i. 19. We have also a more sure word of prophecy, whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day-star arise in your hearts. Ver. 21. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man; but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. 2 Tim. iii. 16. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for cor. rection, for instruction in righteousness. 1 John v. 9. If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God, which he hath testified of his Son. 1 Thess. ii. 13. For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because when ye received the word of God, which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but, as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.
V. 1 Tim. iii. 15. But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
of the doctrine, the majesty of the style, the consent of all the parts, the scope of the whole, (which is to give all glory to God,) the full discovery it makes of the only way of man's salvation, the many other incomparable excellencies, and the entire perfection thereof, are arguments, whereby it doth abundantly evidence itself to be the word of God; yet, notwithstanding, our full persuasion and assurance of the infallible truth, and divine authority thereof, is from the inward work of the Holy Spirit, bearing witness by and with the word in our hearts 1.
VI. The whole counsel of God, concerning all things necessary for his own glory, man's salvation, faith, and life, is either expressly set down in scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelations of the Spirit, or traditions of men".
1 John ii. 20. But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. Ver. 27. But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie; and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. John xvi. 13. Howbeit, when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth; for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak : and he will shew you things to come. V. 14. He shall glorify me for he, shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. 1 Cor. ii. 10. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit; for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. Ver. 11. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Ver. 12. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Isa. lix. 21. As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith
the Lord, My Spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed's seed, saith the Lord, from henceforth and for ever.
VI. m 2 Tim. iii. 15. from a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation, through faith which is in Christ Jesus. V. 16. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; Ver. 17. That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. Gal. i. 8. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. Ver. 9. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. 2 Thess. ii. 2. That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter, as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
Nevertheless, we acknowledge the inward illumination of the Spirit of God to be necessary for the saving understanding of such things as are revealed in the word "; and that there are some circumstances concerning the worship of God, and government of the Church, common to human actions and societies, which are to be ordered by the light of nature and Christian prudence, according to the general rules of the word, which are always to be observed °.
VII. All things in scripture are not alike plain in themselves, nor alike clear unto all P; yet those things which are necessary to be known, believed, and observed, for salvation, are so clearly propounded and opened in some place of scripture or other, that not only the learned, but the unlearned, in a due use of the ordinary means, may attain unto a sufficient understanding of them.
VIII. The Old Testament in Hebrew, (which was the native language of the people of God of old,) and the New Testament in Greek, (which at the time of the writing of it was most generally known to the nations,) being immediately inspired by God, and by his singular care and providence kept pure in all ages, are therefore authentical; so as in all controversies of religion, the Church is
n John vi. 45. It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. 1 Cor. ii. 9. But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. Ver 10. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit; for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. V. 11. For what nan knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Ver. 12. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
o 1 Cor. xi. 13. Judge in yourselves, is it comely that a woman pray unto
God uncovered? Ver. 14. Doth not even nature itself teach you, that if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? 1 Cor. xiv. 26. How is it then, brethren, when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation? Let all things be done unto edifying. Ver. 40. Let all things be done decently and in order.
VII. p 2 Pet. iii. 16. As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
q Psal. cxix. 105. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. Verse 130. The entrance of thy words giveth light, it giveth'understanding unto the simple.
VIII. Matth. v. 18. For verily I
finally to appeal unto them. But because these original tongues are not known to all the people of God, who have right unto and interest in the scriptures, and are commanded, in the fear of God, to read and search them, therefore they are to be translated into the vulgar language of every nation unto which they come ", that the word of God dwelling plentifully in all, they may worship him in an acceptable manner, and, through patience and comfort of the Scriptures, may have hope.
IX. The infallible rule of interpretation of scripture is the scripture itself; and therefore, when there is a question about the true and full sense of any scripture, (which is not manifold, but one,) it must be searched and known by other places that speak more clearly.
say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
s Isa. viii. 20. To the law, and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. Acts xv. 15. And to this agree the words of the prophets, as it is written. John v. 39. Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me: Ver. 46. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me; for he wrote of me.
t John v. 39. Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify
u 1 Cor xiv. 6. Now, brethren, If I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine? Ver. 9. So likewise you, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air. Ver. 11. Therefore, if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian; and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me. Ver. 12. Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that
ye may excel, to the edifying of the church. Ver. 24. But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all. Ver. 27. If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret. Ver. 28. But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God."
w Col. iii. 16. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
x Rom. xv. 4. For whatsoever things were written aforetime, were written for our learning; that we, through patience and comfort of the scriptures, might have hope.
IX. y 2 Pet. i. 20. Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. Ver. 21. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. Acts xv. 15. And to this agree the words of the prophets, as it is written, Ver. 16. After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David which is fallen down, and I will build